The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Alan Murdie of Council Tax Legal Services provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
As a tax on property, rates have existed in some form since 1601. The framework currently in place was largely established by the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (LGFA 1988), as amended. LGFA 1988 established that:
rates were to be raised only on non-domestic property—occupiers of domestic property would instead pay community charges (from 1993 replaced by council tax, see Practice Note: Council tax)
rates bills were to be set nationally by way of Government specified multipliers to be applied to rateable values for each financial year
local authorities would administer and collect rates income, but pay the proceeds over to a Government pool (net of an allowance for costs of collection)
pooled rates income would be redistributed to authorities as a grant based on an assessment of need
a number of reliefs were available in specific instances, some mandatory and some at the discretion of the local authority
LGFA 1988 therefore established rates as a national tax known as national non-domestic rates (NNDR), administered locally. NNDR is often referred to as ‘business rates’
businesses and other occupiers or owners of non-domestic properties (variously described in legislation as hereditaments) pay NNDR as their contribution towards the cost of provision of local authority services
The Local Government Finance Act 2012 and the Localism Act 2011 (LA 2011) introduced changes from 1 April
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